Question: Can you discuss the administrative license hearing in Oklahoma following a DUI arrest?
Answer: The administrative hearings actually nowadays are all held exclusively by telephone. In the past, Oklahoma County and Tulsa County, they used to be in person, but now they’re exclusively by telephone. The hearing officer is not a judge, it’s not even an attorney licensed by the state. These are individuals who are employees of the Department of Public Safety who have received minimal training from DPS’ legal staff in how to conduct a DUI implied consent revocation hearing.
What will happen is that hearing officer will get ahold of the officer that’s listed on the officer’s affidavit and any witnesses that that officer may have listed, and they’ll get either the person if they’re representing themselves or that person’s attorney on the phone, and the hearing officer will ask the officers and witnesses some just basic questions that they have regarding, you know, why the person was stopped; once they were stopped, what the officer observed; what led them to believe they were driving under the influence. And then the attorney will get an opportunity to cross examine all the witnesses, and at the end present any evidence they may have, and then make a closing argument on behalf of the arrested person in an attempt to try and persuade the hearing officer to set aside the revocation.
So it’s a rather informal process that takes place. The hearing officer will then take that matter under advisement—they never let us know their decision right then and there. And about four weeks later, we’ll get an order in the mail letting us know their decision of whether they’re setting aside the revocation action or sustaining the revocation action.
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